To say marketing has changed in the last few years is an understatement. Software drives not only marketing innovation but business innovation as well. There are plenty of books and articles that offer an overview of the rise of software in business operations. But few authors have done as great a job at explaining how to leverage technology for marketing than Scott Brinker.
His book Hacking Marketing, Agile Practices to Make Marketing Smarter, Faster and More Innovative, explores the right ideas in managing MarTech.
Brinker is editor and chief at Marketing Technologist Blog where he covers MarTech related news and trends. He is also the program chair of the MarTech Conference, and co-founder and CEO of Iron Interactive, a marketing software company that counts Dell, Dun & Bradstreet and General Mills among its clientele.
What Is Hacking Marketing About?
Hacking Marketing advances a philosophy focused on how to manage software development that impacts your product or brand. It’s not a workbook, as Brinker states. He offers a unique perspective to help small business owners do it themselves and manage apps, chatbots and websites in a more cohesive manner.
Brinker spends the opening chapters laying out how software development protocol became part of the marketing landscape. Here’s an example of why marketing automation is important and how software development has infused into every bit of marketing.
“For many years, marketers mostly concerned themselves with only the design of their company’s website — the way individual pages looked — and the content inserted into pages, primarily static text, photographs and illustrations. But websites today are often much more sophisticated. They include functionality to let customers place orders, make custom service requests, and check on the status of their accounts.”
The next chapters outline Brinker’s thought process about how marketing relates to technology. He explains how marketing automation is programming, and diagrams approaches for how teams should manage information and resources with agile marketing and scrum tactics in mind.
He also notes examples of leadership concerns related to current technological practices.
What I Liked About Hacking Marketing
What I liked about Hacking Marketing is that Brinker simplifies each chapter topic so the reader understands how technological processes aid their operations. This helps to make the text — with its focus on agile marketing and the rise of software’s role in business strategy — less jargon-oriented, while still explaining essential terms that a marketer would see and hear from developer teams.
As a result, Brinker outlines the takeaways most important to his readers. In Chapter 11, for example, he stresses the importance of building a business website in increments.
“When launching a website, you might want to build the initial version — your first increment — with a modest amount of content … In subsequent increments, you would then add more content, more sections, more advanced features, and so on.”
Many of the tips are based on agile management. And Brinker wisely outlines pros and cons of each to help business leaders the benefits of each for their own situations.
Brinker also talks about trends related to the rise of software development in marketing. Take interactive content — media meant specifically to encourage audience participation — for example.
“Research has shown the interactive content is more effective than passive content at differentiating a company’s marketing, educating prospects, and converting them into leads and customers … It pulls participants into a more immersive kind of storytelling around a brand.”
I also liked Brinker’s presentation of the text as a workbook, not a guide. He rightly realizes how implementation of many marketing approaches will vary for each business. Thus readers will walk away with meaningful content rather than cherry-picked tech ideas.
What Could Have Been Done Differently?
I really liked the book as a whole, so it’s difficult to nitpick, or to wish for something different. If I had to suggest anyplace where the book could use further development, it might be where Brinker discusses difficulties in assigning roles. But the book is a solid read for savvy business owners seeking to develop their work teams into something truly special.
Why Read Hacking Marketing?
Every business feels the pressure to adopt software in their operations, but many struggle with how and where to best incorporate it. Marketing certainly stands out.
Brinker discusses hacks to help managers re-imagine software development within business. With Hacking Marketing, Brinker shows how best to build the right processes quickly — a perspective marketers should consider when establishing a business model.